Thai Property Ownership

Property Ownership

Land Ownership. Ownership of land or possessory rights may be evidenced in one of the following ways:


Title Deed:

Thailand has a system of title deeds similar to the Torrens system. An ownership deed, known in Thai as "Chanote" is issued in duplicate, one copy for the owner, mortgagee, etc., and one for the official records of the Land Department. The title deed contains a description of the land such as the size, boundaries and marking posts, and a history of all registered transaction concerning the land. A title deed, or at least the Land Department copy, is the best evidence of ownership or grant other rights by presenting his original title deed at the Land Department together with the appropriate contract (sale, lease, mortgage, etc.) There is no waiting time required in order to effect the transfer. Title deeds are issued mainly for land in urban and other built-up areas.

Confirmed Certificate of Use:

This certificate known as "Ngor Sor Saam Gor" is generally similar to a title deed. It certifies the person named therein has the right to use the land and that his right has been confirmed, that is all requirements for the issuance of a title deed have been met and the issuance of the title deed is pending the issuance of title deeds in the area concerned. Transfers of this certificate are made at the Amphoe(District) office rather than at the Land Department. Transfers may be made without the need to post at notice or for a waiting period.

Certificate of Use:

This certificate known as "Ngor Sor Saam" is similar to the Confirmed Certificate of Use except that not all the formalities to certify the right to use have been performed. The Certificate of Use may be transferred at the Amphoe but before a transfer can be made it is necessary to post at notice a intent and then wait for a period of thirty days to see if anyone objects.

Certificate of Possession:

This certificate known as "Sor Kor Nung" is a recognition that a person is in possession of land but the certificate does not imply that there are any rights associated with the possession. A Certificate of Possession cannot be transferred but a person in possession may transfer physical possession and the new possessor may apply for a new Certificate of Possession. Certificates of Possession are common mainly in rural areas. Their issuance must precede the issuance of a Certificate of Use.


Can be owned by foreigner with ownership registration on the land-title if the foreign total held ownership is not over 49% (some areas and projects100%) from the total square meters of the building. In this case the foreigner has to send the funds to Thailand in foreign currency in order to obtain a F3 form from the bank with the remark 'to purchase a condominium'.


Leases. Although foreigners usually may not buy land, they may lease land on a short or long term basis. Leases for up to three years may be entered into by simple contract and need not be registered.

Lease for more than three years are valid for only three years unless the lease is registered on the Title Deed or the Certificate of Use. Lease for three years with an option to renew may in certain cases be treated as a lease for more than three years and the renewal option may not be valid unless the lease with the renewal option is registered.

Lease may be registered for up to 30 years ( or the life or either party ) and where the lease is for a period of years it may provide for a renewal clause allowing the lease to be renewed for an additional period of up to 30 years. However, the renewal provision is not automatic, the parties must appear at the Land Department or register the renewal. There are court decisions which indicate that the renewal clause is personal to the landlord and so may not binding on his heirs or successors.